Manulife Financial Corporation (MFC): Today's Featured Insurance Winner

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Manulife Financial Corporation ( MFC) pushed the Insurance industry higher today making it today's featured insurance winner. The industry as a whole closed the day up 0.1%. By the end of trading, Manulife Financial Corporation rose $0.21 (1.2%) to $16.98 on light volume. Throughout the day, 1,240,077 shares of Manulife Financial Corporation exchanged hands as compared to its average daily volume of 2,064,800 shares. The stock ranged in a price between $16.76-$17.03 after having opened the day at $16.80 as compared to the previous trading day's close of $16.77. Other companies within the Insurance industry that increased today were: Crawford & Company ( CRD.B), up 6.9%, Crawford & Company ( CRD.A), up 3.1%, Employers Holdings ( EIG), up 2.9% and Triple-S Management Corporation ( GTS), up 2.5%.

Manulife Financial Corporation, together with its subsidiaries, provides financial protection and wealth management products and services to individual, corporate, and business customers primarily in Asia, Canada, and the United States. Manulife Financial Corporation has a market cap of $30.5 billion and is part of the financial sector. Shares are up 23.4% year to date as of the close of trading on Wednesday. Currently there are 7 analysts that rate Manulife Financial Corporation a buy, no analysts rate it a sell, and 3 rate it a hold.

TheStreet Ratings rates Manulife Financial Corporation as a buy. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its solid stock price performance, compelling growth in net income, notable return on equity, reasonable valuation levels and largely solid financial position with reasonable debt levels by most measures. Although no company is perfect, currently we do not see any significant weaknesses which are likely to detract from the generally positive outlook.

On the negative front, National Security Group ( NSEC), down 4.0%, State Auto Financial Corporation ( STFC), down 3.8%, 21st Century Holding Company ( TCHC), down 2.7% and Federated National ( FNHC), down 2.7% , were all laggards within the insurance industry with Everest Re Group ( RE) being today's insurance industry laggard.

For investors not wanting singular stock exposure, ETFs may be of interest. Investors who are bullish on the insurance industry could consider KBW Insurance ETF ( KIE) while those bearish on the insurance industry could consider Proshares Short Financials ( SEF).

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